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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  December 31, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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jish i'm toure with breaking news. kim kardashian is pregnant. we believe this time it's kanye's baby and the fiscal cliff countdown thing, it's about to get serious. i'm steve kornacki. fiscal cliff tops the list of banished words. sloped does not agree on the list. i fully agree. >> i'm crystal ball. never again after today. who am i kidding? cliff, cliff, cliff! i can't stop myself. the latest on kim kardashian, kanye and the baby
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ahead but the other story in the headlines today. america staring down the fiscal cliff. t-minus nine hours and counting and washington is wasting no time. senate minority leader mcconnell saying both sides are close to a deal. it's about time. >> my preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain. whatever you want to call it. that solves our deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way. with this congress, that was obviously a little bit too much to hope for at this time. it may be we can do it in stages. >> there are a number of issues on which the two sides are still apart but negotiations are continuing as i speak. but we really are running out of time. >> the vice president and i have worked together on solutions before and i believe we can
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again. >> no holiday for the best political team around. a triple threat, luke russert and mike viqueira on the capitol hill and kristen welker from the white house. are you happy to be working on the holiday? >> it's fantastic. >> absolutely. >> sounded believable. viq, let's start with you. we have news trickling out today. working, trying to make a deal. what's going on? >> it's washington, d.c. nothing is as it appears. we6 classic kabuki theater going on here, toree. the president, jovial, said they were close to a deal. that joe biden, the negotiations with mitch mcconnell essentially borne fruit. republicans annoyed with that. the tax threshold, that's agreed upon. republicans agree, too. what about this sequester?
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supposed to be the trigger, supposed to be the apocalyptic scenario that made cuts in spending necessary. otherwise we go over the cliff and there are cuts to defense and domestic programs. the president wants to delay them two months, three yearmonta year. many republicans say, absolutely not. many were angry he chose to have a campaign-style event in the white house complex. mitch mcconnell took the floor of the senate and pretty much calling the president's bluff saying, yes, we have an agreement on taxes. let's go ahead and vote on that. leave the sequester the way it is. that's not going to fly. we have an impasse here. there have been reports that the house of representatives to take whatever passes the senate if something passes and do it a minute after midnight. that scenario of steve and i and all of us talking about voting to cut taxes or not. i'm told recently that that's
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not going to happen. whatever happens, likely to see any votes in the house and luke can maybe back me up on this. tomorrow and not tonight and technically going over the cliff, guys. >> all right. luke, three reporters to get through. the best for last. luke, it is your turn. >> well, toure, what mike said there is correct. if there's agreement out of the united states senate it is voted on tonight and the house tomorrow. a lot of folks in the house really view the deadline as 11:59 a.m. on thursday. that's when this congress by law has to adjourn. so between now and then we're going to get a back and forth, sequester delay and mike just spoke about. i want to say one thing which i think we're missing over here, guys. the fact to agree here in washington, d.c. about these numbers at $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, think about how much this is argued over over 10 years in washington. these tax levels.
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not just sunsetted later on, it's for couples and individuals permanently and a huge deal and what mitch mcconnell was trying to say, we have come to this agreement. voting to raise taxes. that's huge for republicans. don't scuttle it because of some hiccup over the sequester. now a lot of democrats who don't like this, they want the president to fight. remains to be seen is that can it pass the house gop? house republicans said any type of deal that doesn't cut spending will not get our vote even if it comes out of the senate. still a long way to go on any final compromise. >> kristen, what are you hearing out of the white house right now? >> toure, i'm hearing that actually their optimism seems to be mounting this afternoon. they are hopeful. you heard mitch mcconnell say it on the senate floor, they're very, very close to a deal. having said that, you heard mike viqueira, luke russert lay out the problem with the sequester
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issue. that's the sticking point and sources at the white house tell me that staffers, senior negotiators have been working with the phones all afternoon long, of course, vice president biden, as well. deeply engaged in these negotiations. they have been pushing back, though, against this republican criticism that they have been getting over the sequester wanting to push it back for a year. the argument white house officials say is that it will allow them to come back and do something more significant in the future. you heard the president talk about that and signal the fact in those future negotiations he wants to really tackle tax reform. some people say, raise taxes even more. so that is the pushback that officials are giving to that republican criticism. having said that, they remain optimistic moderately so at this point that something will get done. and of course, president obama sort of continuing his public campaign to pressure congress, not only republicans, but also, democrats who have expressed
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skepticism about this deal and not getting enough in new revenues. the president saying, look, this is not a perfect deal, not grand bargain, the big deal they had initially hoping for and working on but it is a deal nonetheless and will prevent at least part of the fiscal cliff set to go in to effect in a matter of hours now. >> mike, we talk a lot here about the sequester, the income tax rates for the wealthy and other issues that need to be resolved or one on the table. one that's not on the table, the payroll tax extension is just gone. unemployment insurance extension looks like it's part of this. and medicare dock fix. you have any sense of two other things that obama's been looking for here? one is an extension of the expansion of the refundable tax credits of stimulus in 2009. these are things pushing for. if that's part of it and obama looking for at least some infrastructure, some stimulus
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spending. are any of those components in this deal? >> i don't think the spending part is addressed. i could be wrong and i believe per child tax credit is, in fact, addressed and extended in some way, shape or form and heard the president say some of the incentives for green energy in place in the stimulus. as well. i'm not sure if i heard you mention the alternative minimum tax for the wealthy and dipped in to the middle class and every year congress has to put it off. what's in this bill is a permanent revocation, a perm inconsistent fix, if you will, of the alternative men mum tax. that's astonishing. almost a trillion dollars cut from the baseline over ten years and appears that would be in the bill but put out the big caution here because nothing is voted on yet. there's no -- the ink is not dry. the signatures not on the document. if there's a deal, it is still not quite there yet.
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that big fight as we have been describing over those spending cuts, automatic spending cuts over ten years. >> kristen, as you know, the president was on "meet the press" this week. i want to play that and then your reaction. >> obviously, i think business and investors are going to feel more negative about the economy next year. if you look at projections of 2013, people generally felt that the economy would continue to grow, unemployment would continue to tick down and housing improves but what's been holding us back is the dysfunction here in washington and if, you know, people start seeing that on january 1st this problem still hasn't been solved, that we haven't seen the kind of deficit reduction we have had, had the republicans been willing to take the deal i gave them, if they say that people's taxes have gone up, which means consumer spending is depressed, then obviously that's
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an adverse reaction in the markets. >> now, kristen, my fake take o president's comments is trying to publicly put pressure on republicans to act, laying out the case that they would be the ones to blame if nothing did happen, if a deal wasn't reached but i wanted your take on the intention was in that interview. >> i think you're right. if you look at the polls, they show that the majority of people put the bulk of the blame on to republicans. the president was very careful in his wording there not to say the markets dip if we don't get something done. however, he did point out that they could be impacted and i think if you talk to most economists right now, that is the main and most immediate concern. if there's not a deal or a significant movement toward a deal when the markets reopen on the second that you could really see them impacted. in addition to that, over time if this continues to drag out, it will be felt by average americans.
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they will start to see a big chunk taken out of the paycheck and really dragging out, it could lead the economy back in to a recession. so part of the president's argument there is the economy is so fragile right now. using that argument to put pressure on congressional republicans to try to get something done along with democrats before that deadline and that's an important point. not just republicans he's pressuring but democrats. some of them said today this is an imperfect plan that's coming together, an imperfect package, and his argument is really, we have got to get something done before the deadline. the time is now and really running out. >> luke, i'm struck by a quote of senator ma cull ski of maryland. this is one of the lowest points of her life in the senate. i've lived through 9/11, the impeachment of a president and something to ourselves and this is because we contribute to an unwillingness to negotiate and described the scene as grim.
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what are you hearing about the mood on the hill right now? >> toure, i think what senator mikulski got her finger on is this idea what you're seeing in washington, d.c. right now is truly pathetic. this is something that did not come out of nowhere. we knew this was on the horizon and this is a self-inflicted wound. this is not a wound by another country. it's not a wound being brought upon us from some factory that we didn't know of, a natural disaster. this is a wound to ourselves and strikes folks as stupid. i was talking to friends of mine from abroad and said why are you so stupid? i didn't have a right answer to give them. but in terms of mood, look, no one wants to be here on new year's. this is their entire holiday taken away from this. what you are seeing now is a move to some possible deal and a long way to go and i want to caution and agree with what mike says. the ink is not dry on this.
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house republicans will not pass a deal that doesn't cut any spending and that's what happens if you don't have some sort of agreement on the sequester. i have an e-mail since i'm on the show republicans saying the president is holding middle class tax cuts hostage with a delay of the sequester. we are a long way from this being completed and hearing barbara mikulski saying this is one of the worst time on capitol hill, i would suspect she's speaking members of the partisanship at a degree where we're willing to hurt the entire economy, we're willing to hurt the nation's ability to -- people's and the country's ability of food on the table, to have a job, a chance over partisan bickering. it's quite striking. >> i totally agree with you. it's prohibitively drastic, and yet, not drastic enough. viq, luke, kristen, take care. >> thank you. coming up, there's nothing special about what's going on in congress. how did we get here? what's the incentive to break
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the stalemate? we crunch the numbers. they don't add up to anything good.
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for more on what to expect to see from the fearless leaders today and going forward, we have senior congressional reporter from "the huffington post"
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michael shearer. >> thank you for having me, crystal. >> mike viqueira and luke russert were reporting and i've been thinking about do we have any idea what the house republican caucus is going to o do? >> they scuttled john boehner's plan. will they accept a deal for $400,000 for single people and $450,000 for couples? >> it is extremely difficult to do that. i talked to a couple of aides shortly after obama spoke and they actually were angry at the way the president presented the way things are coming. they actually thought that he was sort of sabotaging the thing by the gleeful almost presentation he gave with the applause when he talked about congress and the laughter. so it's going to be really hard for them to suck it up and i don't think that made it any
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easier. >> well, i have a little bit of a philosophical question for you, michael. the thought occurs to me that this is why we can't have nice things. we had the debt ceiling showdown. even before that, we had multiple threats of government shutdown over things like funding of planned parenthood and even if we get through this with a deal, we may have another debt ceiling showdown. are we at the point in history where we cannot get anything done and nothing will happen until we have one party in control again? >> well, no. i think we can get things done. although, this is coming from a person who's had to re'range vacation plans for three years because congress couldn't finish their work in until the last second. so, you know, when you hear mitch mcconnell on the senate floor saying we can do this, we have to do this, there's a sign saying, okay, when things are
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bad they can get together. i'm not quite sure why it has to be that bad, though, before they actually do something. i mean, almost everybody in this country could look at this and see it comes and say, okay, taxes are going up on january 1st. house, why can't you do something before they go up? when you know they go up. do something you like better but do something. that's a hard question to answer and really comes down to those districts, their voters, sort of passionate people on the right and the left who push the political process out a little bit. how you get passed that is a very hard question. >> you know, michael, i have been watching, too, last hour or so. many republican freak-out, whatever you want to call it. i think it raises the question does it make it harder for republicans to go with the deal and probably necessary for obama to do that for confidence among democrats that that is deal worth getting behind because i was hearing griping and still am
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about obama giving aaway too much and almost had to do that, i feel. one of the reasons democrats are pessimistic about this is debt ceiling doesn't look like it's a part of this. we came in to the negotiations with obama saying we are going to get a permanent fix to this -- permanent end to the brinksmanship in the deal and now a two-year end and now no deal and democrats say obama just defacto negotiated and the republicans know it and we have a crisis on the hands a month from now. >> well, we will have another crisis on the hands a month from now and back here staying up in the capitol late trying to figure out what the deal is. the president said today that if it comes down to that, it's not just spending cuts but there will be revenue in there, as well. but, you know, what's the leverage then? there's an interesting question. so, it will be deja vu all over again to quote a recent speech i heard. we have to see. >> michael, i see on november
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6th, 234 republicans were elected. only 15 of them from congressional districts obama won. in 2014, 14 senators will be -- will go up for re-election. 13 of them will stay and -- 12 of them in states obama did not win and like we have 2 different parallel sort of universes trying to talk to each other and republicans don't really need and are not incented to work with obama because they're coming from constituency that is don't like him, won't vote for him. why not fight against him because that's good for them? >> well, i tell you what. guys like john boehner see that and they see a trend where their base shrinks and gets smaller and smaller and smaller. eventually they will be the minority party. they don't want that to happen. they can look at the polls and where it says most of the country favors raising taxes on the rich and the positions that obama was pushing during the
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campaign, otherwise he wouldn't have won. they know it's a problem and don't want to be relegated to the party of white guys in the south. >> that's a national issue. >> correct. >> that's not a local issue, primary issue as you go home as mcconnell and deal with the primary and the general doesn't matter. >> you know, you start thinking about these really deep in the weeds things like filibuster reform. nobody cares about that, right? in maine it was an issue. if you ian one of the voters in the south, maybe you are adamant against raising taxes, but if you see your ability to influence the debate slipping away, you got to ask yourself eventually, what are we doing wrong? that might not sink in immediately. you will still have the primaries, the club for growth. you have the tea party. you have, you know, americans for tax reform. all these folks out there spending money but, you know, they spend a lot last time and didn't win and starts to shift eventually, i think.
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>> yeah. hopefully that sinks in sooner rather than later. michael, shifting gears for a moment, following the news of hillary clinton's health, her being hospitalized for a blood clot and i know you followed her, reported on her for many years and wondering if you have any particular insights in to her current situation. >> in to her medical state, i have absolutely no insights. but i do know she's a very tough person, hard worker and i suspect that considering who she is and the doctors that have been treating her and her husband for years now, she'll probably be okay. you know, you know, don't ask me to offer diagnosis. but i suspect that if it's not some sort of stroke or something, she will be out there again and we'll hear from her. >> all right. michael, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. my name might be krystal ball but s.e. saw something that the rest of us didn't since she is not here today.
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we have the winners and the losers of this fiscal fiesta. but really, are there any winners?
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so all eyes are on washington where they're trying to make the last-minute deal. instead of watching the ball in times square. so we have to then sit here and run through the winners and losers of this fiscal fiasco. we at "the cycle" fall of the column of big losers because we're here. the news was too hot to stay home. the winner, s.e. who somehow got to be ill. you know what? i'm sick, too. sick of the cliff. but i digress. we got to talk about winners and losers. i think no winners
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kristal disagrees. >> i have a few. one is nancy pelosi because compared to john boehner i would say she looks like the greatest speaker of the house of all time. not un, surprisingly, mitt romney, because even though i'm sure he would rather be president, at least he doesn't deal with the mess himself. next on my list, rich people. we don't know what the deal looks like but you can bet they're on top in some way. they always do. and finally, toure, speak for yourself. i feel like a winner because as much as it is lame at work today, i would rather be here than in congress where i was trying to be so there you go. >> that's one way of spinning it. >> it's a -- i'm going to just kind of duck the question here. i don't want to get in to the winners and losers thing but a comment because i'm trying to piece it together over the last few days and months and i'm honestly and we'll see the final count tour contours of this an
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first reaction is what was the last year and a half all about? it looked like a pivot point in the presidency at the end of the deet ceiling showdown and the instinct in the wake of the 2010 mid terms is to strike some kind of big bipartisan grand bargain and be a compromiser in chief and looked like the lesson of the white house in the showdown is you can't compromise as it is currently constituted. obama made the point over and over again and basically laid it out there $250,000. i want the bush tax rates to disappear. i want to use it as a referendum on that, and quote, his words, break the fever and went in to the negotiations after winning by four points. 332 electoral votes. if he ever had a mandate, the
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bush tax cuts go away and a baseline and don't be afraid to go over the cliff if you believe in the 250. $250,000, face it, $800 billion in revenue over 2 years and now 450 and cutting it to 370 over 10 years and sending messages to republicans he doesn't fully appreciate still when he has a good hand. what he had coming in to this, the demands $$250,000. up to $400,000. take the debt ceiling out of the table. the republicans look at this, can look at this and say we kind of squeezed him down to the bare minimum, the bare minimum in terms of a debt ceiling. we have the debt ceiling expiring in a month and not going to negotiate over the debt ceiling. he just did. it's out of the deal and we can hold him hostage on that again. i think republicans feel very confident about that. >> i want to disagree with kristal and steve i think but i
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don't know what you were saying there but i think everyone in this situation is a loser. republicans dragged congress's rating to lower than even paris hilton's which is incredibly -- it's something to be admired. if you look at that that way. also, the president, given away so much that the left is not happy with him. given away so much and constructed this in a way the right come pains against him and not a winner this. i think everybody involved in this including most of america including the rich is losing in this entire situation. we should not have constructed this down this avenue at all. the only winner i see today at all is kim kardashian guaranteed to be famous and rich forever and guaranteed to be rich forever and how she's famous and gone this long, way after the 15 minutes and all she has is beauty. no real talent is beyond me. i really just -- not hating.
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but as a person who thinks about celebrity, i don't understand how it is that she's maintained to be famous this long. it's baffling. >> you thought mine was confusing. >> wait, wait, wait. i have to hear kornacki, quickly, thoughts on kim kardashian. >> who's that? >> that's what america is waiting for. >> that's what i thought. >> next the thoughts on kanye. straight ahead, while americans make new year's resolutions today, politico has a few for congress. new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas.
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all right. time to level with you. it hasn't been the proudest year in the history of american politics. that's breaking news there. but with that in mind, our next guest has a list of new year's resolutions in washington, d.c. joining us now, politico's national political reporterer, james holman. maybe you can take us through the highlights of this list.
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>> a special because we are talking about the fiscal cliff, an especially bad year for republicans, not only losing the presidency by four points and lost winnable senate seats. they got slaughtered with latinos, problems with young people, women. the democrats, they obviously did not win back the house. the senate looks like will be tough in 2014. looking at the fiscal cliff on the democrat side, it is very important that the president convince people that he's serious about the deficit in 2013 and for republicans one of my resolutions is that they try to not be the party of the rich any longer. both party haves a perception problem. the exit polls bared that out. the election bared that out and passing the fiscal cliff and looks like we will have kind of another temporary crisis in the next month or three months, they again have to fight the stereotypes and label that is built up. >> one of those jumped out at me. maybe run it by you.
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for the democrats, the argument of don't offend gun owners and manners, you don't want to offend anybody needlessly, a voter or group. i get that. you point to the example of the 2000 election and say al gore lost maybe the presidency because of maybe gun ownership and so much the map changed that the votes to win a national election, to win statewide election for democrats now -- gore lost kentucky, missouri, wf w6, his ohm state of tennessee and where the gun issue's hurt him. those are republican states. democrats have taken a decade off on gun control and haven't made any headway with gun owners and still voting as reliably republican now than maybe more so. isn't the lesson it's okay to be easy on gun control? >> i don't think so. people that voting for president
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obama because of the auto bailout might have given romney a second look if they felt like obama was going to come after the guns. the white house is messaging on it very carefully for a reason. if you listen to the president's comments, even joe biden's comments, incredibly defensive, very preemptive in the language in how they talk about guns because west virginia, tennessee, yes, not in place but ohio and virginia would be in play i think if democrats become too aggressive. there are certainly some appetite for gun control. the assault weapons ban polls well and some change in the wake of the massacre in newtown but there hasn't been a sea change. plurality of americans, many americans still own guns. and they -- i think will be receptive to a little bit of change but if they feel like the white house is going overboard, it could blow up on the president. so the resolution is to go ahead and do what you think is right but to do in it a way that doesn't offend those people.
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remember, president obama famously said at a fund-raiser in the 2008 come pain that he wasn't doing well in pennsylvania because of people that cling to guns and religion. >> right. james, you know, don't offend gun owners piece jumped out at all three of us here today. 58% in a new poll said they want gun safety and there is a lot of interest in that that jumps from 42% a year ago but i don't think that the democrats are being offensive toward gun owners at all. the nra makes it seem like -- they fearmonger toward that idea but i think we need to not be offensive to those who have been killed and will be in the future by gun violence that can be -- and the nra leadership battles against even the most simple common sensical responses to this massive problem. >> and the white house certainly going to push. the president is going to talk about guns in his state of the union address next month.
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and my piece lays out as he does that, he can call for certain gun safety things. there's a lot that polls well, a lot that could arguably help deal with various problems. but the white house knows based on the polling that the president's going to have to talk about it as part of a balanced approach and cliche again today. and that he's going to have to explain in it a way that it doesn't seem like he's tramibling on the 2nd amendment. >> yeah. i actually agree with that, james. i think go ahead with gun control, go ahead with the things that make sense but in a way that's respectful. kudos for number two on the list, only use the word rape in condemnation. i might go stronger. not sure they're trusted to use the word at all. don't say it. maybe next year you can say it in condemnation. the one to get you to weigh in on, you said stop being the party of the rich which i agree
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with but not so much a perception problem of them. their economic policy is based on the idea of cutting social safety net programs for greater tax breaks for the wealthy. they're going to the mat to keep taxes as low as possible for the wealthy. so how do they change that part of their party when it's so sort of fundamental to their core economic views? >> that's why it's at the top of the list. it's very difficult. i think in the last election cycle they allowed themselves to have to defend the paul ryan budget and that laid out a list of priorities, philosophy that made it very easy to caricature them. mitt romney was also very bad messeng messenger. former bain capital expect wif the 47% comment and so many other things made it very, very difficult to win over middle class voters that might be otherwise receptive to republicans so i think the party
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needs new messengers and new messaging and showing and demonstrating that the party shares the voters' values, whatever those might be and i think as part of the soul searching process that republicans are going to do many republicans hope is to look at what policies that should change, what messages to change, what their priorities are in washington especially with a democratic president. why push something that will not pass when you could get on board with common sense thing that is aren't necessarily supporting the rich over everyone else. the other thing that republicans have traditionally done well on is talking about opportunity, present your policies as improving opportunity for everyone. you tend to do better. they did a bad jb of that the last year. >> we'll see. we were talking earlier about the debt ceiling. maybe another fight in 2013 and lessons learned of the last one for the republicans there. james hohmann, thank you for joining us. up next, what to do when you
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don't do anything. what congress is up to beginning the slow descent off the cliff. [ female announcer ] want younger looking eyes that say wow with olay, here's how. new regenerist eye and lash duo the cream smooths the look of lids... softens the look of lines. the serum instantly thickens the look of lashes. see wow!... eyes in just one week with olay.
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one thing we can count on with respect to this congress is that if there's even one second left to do before what you're supposed to do they'll use that last second. >> did you know that congress
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actually went in to work yesterday? >> what? >> i know what you're thinking. work and congress in the same sentence? my mind is blown. and while you might think they're hard at work to avoid, i don't know, a huge fiscal crisis, here's a look at what congress actually did while they weren't working on the fiscal cliff. the senate confirmed two of the president's appointees and the house considered about a dozen bills including how to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the world war i and various aid and trade bills. here to give us an idea of what the congress is thinking is ed o'keefe. give us a run down. what has congress been working on and still need to do before this congress actually ends? >> it's kind of fascinating how these very modest measures that wouldn't get a vote gotten one because there's so much time on the clock still as they wait for the marquee legislative event of
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the year. there were changes to drywall standards. there was discussion there of the world war i commemoration which is coming up. two nominees confirmed over in the senate. two of obama's nominees. going back a few weeks, even just before christmas, there were some changes in policies at the tsa and screening baggage and judges confirmed and actually are some things that have gotten done but certainly not the big issues like you mentioned. certainly there's the fiscal cliff. a question of whether or not the deal is a fix on dairy prices and so that milk prices don't go up and or they might pass a temporary measure and solely of milk prices and also the aid for new jersey and new york, the communities affected by hurricane sandy. the house is reportedly looking at a plan that would only provide about $27 billion in aid. that's less than half of what the senate passed over the weekend. they went for the $60 billion
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aid package and certainly things to get done. remember, new year's eve obviously the fiscal cliff deadli deadline. thursday at noon the deadline for the current congress and then they won't have to restart the clock on pending legislation. >> so i know -- >> i'm glad you mentioned that. let's look bigger picture. this is set to be the least productive congress in history. 219 bills in this congress. >> right. >> the next lowest level was 333 bills during the '90s. so tremendously unproductive congress. as you mentioned, the new one will be sworn in and not looking a whole lot different. is this the new normal, the do-nothing congress? >> i think until we can sort of clear out of these fiscal issues, whether that's tonight or tomorrow, whether that's mid march, it is very difficult for other issues to rise to the to because of the nation's fiscal health and the global economy is
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at risk. we're going to see the administration roll out a gun control package at some point in january, perhaps as part of the state of the union in february. those are who major domestic policies sitting there. if the fiscal cliff conversations continue, certainly the other big issue related to that that both parties want to talk about is tax reform. there's some hope that something would get done before the august recess. there are three big domestic policies but something else could come up that needs almost immediate attention and the question is in this still very bitterly divided environment, will anything be able to get through? >> ed, i'm all for congress bashing, go ahead and do that. i think there's frequently sort of a misunderstanding when we start having these statistics about only this many bills were passed and only this many days in session. when you talk about a lack of productivity on big issues. it's not a work ethic problem. it's a philosophical impasse on some big questions like distribution of wealth and i'm going to be charitable, it's
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messed up dynamics and incentives in today's republican party where any form of compromise in democrats jeopardizes your political career and this has been the story since republicans gained control of the lower chamber in the 2010 elections. until those dynamics go away, they're always going to be unproductive. >> certainly there are those like you who feel that way. in fairness to folks that have been trying to put together some of the bigger stuff, as we understand it, though they're not going to be able to pass something to reform, for example, the cash-strapped u.s. postal service, our understanding is they got 90% to 95% of a deal. it came down to worker compensation claims. that's a big philosophical difference. but otherwise there was a plan. reauthorizing the violence against women act, there's another one. obviously everyone wants to reauthorize it. they understand those protections are needed. because democrats were pushing to expand some of the proteks to
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homosexual couples, there's been hold up there again. almost a deal just not enough time and frankly with this environment not enough goodwill necessarily to get this deal done. there were things in the works. there was a lot of hope that some of these things would get done if fiscal cliff could be put off the table. it's not going to happen. >> when you talk about not enough goodwill, that's true when the cameras are on. when the cameras are off a lot of these people like each other, they're collegial, they're very much a family, at least in the senate, probably in the house, too. there's three people who are leaving so today being the final day, there are going to be a lot of people saying good-bye to dick lugar, kent conrad, and herb kohl. >> there is a little bit of that going on. it's funny because there were good-bye speeches given before christmas but a lot of those senators are speaking again and
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so they're certainly milking this for all it's worth because they're here until thursday morning when the new congress begins in the afternoon. >> all right. ed, thanks so much for joining us. still to come, toure's thoughts on this cliff-mas eve. ♪ [ male announcer ] why do more emergency workers everywhere trust duracell...?? duralock power preserve. locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. now...guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere.
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the fiscal cliff circus has been enraging, frightening, and a disgusting show of how some in washington are putting party
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first arather than putting the nation's interests first. what is going on? the best way for me to explain is with another trip into the movie metaphor club. part of what d.c. is doing is playing chicken, that game where you drive toward a ledge and whoever jumps out first is the loser because they are chicken. they called it a chicky run in the sublime 1955 film "rebel without a cause" which starred james dean. ♪ >> that car going over the cliff
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results in death for buzz gunderson who probably symbolizes the gop trapped in their position by the extremes of their party but unlike poor buzz, no one actually involved in the negotiations has skin in the game. a few may get voted out over a deal but the vast majority won't and no matter what they will all remain rich while many of us outside of d.c. wait to see how our lives are changed. despite all that's riding on a deal, there's a fundamental inabill to communicate and an unwillingness to say what you really mean which recalls the bizarre conversation in the sublime 1977 classic "annie hall." >> i sort of dabble around. >> they're wonderful. they have a quality. >> well, i would like to take a serious photography course. >> photography is interesting because, you know, it's a new art form and a set of aesthetic criteria have not emerged yet. >> aesthetic criteria, you mean whether it's a good photo or
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